Posts tagged ‘growing garlic’

February 2, 2012

A Confession and The Beginning of the Garlic Experiment

I have a confession to make.  Remember last fall when I wrote Growing Garlic? and told you the time was right for planting, how to go about planting it, so on and so forth?  Well, guess who didn’t get out there and plant her garlic before the ground froze?  Yep, you guessed it.  Me.

So what’s a girl to do about this?  Well, let me tell you.  Tossing the garlic heads was never an option.  It goes against my grain.  I had to do something with it.  Given my background in gardening, landscaping and horticulture, I know that certain bulbs, flowering and edible, need a cold spell to get the bulbs to plump up for the next season.  Garlic is one of them.  But, I also know that if circumstances don’t cooperate sometimes you can fool Mother Nature and recreate that cold spell with a refrigerator (cold conditioning).  So that’s my plan which I’ll be executing shortly and you can all ride along with me on what I will call the “Garlic Experiment”.

Sad garlic

What I can tell you right now is that this will definitely be an experiment.  Some of the bulbs are already fading, they are no longer firm to the touch which means they’re drying out (not a good way to start off) but I’ll see how bad they are when I break open the heads and take off the individual cloves, at that point I’ll provide pictures and the play-by-play.

But before I begin the experiment I had to do a little research.  I already knew that garlic needs a cold treatment to get the bulbs to form, but what I didn’t know was how long they need to be cold to give the bulbs enough time to form.  Since we typically don’t have a hard time finding cold weather for growing garlic in Minnesota, I had to start doing a little research on how southern gardeners grow garlic.  So far my research has shown that garlic needs anywhere from 2 weeks to 8 weeks of cold to produce a bulb.   Well, super!  That’s pretty specific!  That’s a lot like waiting for the furnace repair man to come and they say they’ll be arrive on Thursday, sometime between 8am and 5pm.  Thanks for narrowing that down for me!  (Obviously I have a little more work to do.)  If you remember from last fall, I have 3 kinds of garlic .  Tonight I’m going to do a little more research and see if I can find specific information on what each of them prefers and then go from there.

Until then, please accept my apology for not planting when I advised you to.  Life happened, so it didn’t get done.  At least now we have an excuse for an experiment!  And boy do I love experimenting with plants!